What is a Water Heater Expansion Tank and Why Do I Need One?
Regardless of whether the water heater is powered by oil, natural gas or propane, or even electricity, all water heaters are susceptible to the negative effects of thermal expansion as cold water entering the tank is converted to hot heated water.This results in an increase in overall water volume through expansion, as well as an increase in pressure inside the tank.For the sake of general safety, this rise in volume and pressure must be alleviated.
What is an Expansion Tank?
As a result, when the expansion tank is properly designed and fitted, it absorbs the ″extra″ water into a bladder that is positioned within the expansion tank, reducing the amount of surplus pressure within the water heater unit.Expansion tanks aid in the reduction of water hammer difficulties as well as the protection of the plumbing system from stress and damage, resulting in a longer tank lifespan.These tanks must be appropriately situated, sized, and piped into the overall system in order to be effective, and they should be inspected on a yearly basis.
We will ensure that each expansion tank is properly fitted and maintained in order to prevent water hammer, excessive water bills and unnecessary wear on the water heater and plumbing fixtures.If you’re concerned that your water heater doesn’t have an expansion tank, ServiceMark can assist you with that worry.Related Article: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Gas and Electric Furnaces
What Causes These Plumbing Issues?
The hot water heater in your home is integrated with a check valve, which is inserted in the cold-water feed pipe to improve efficiency and comfort when heating water.Plumbing industry professionals who are licensed to work in the field refer to the check valve and the pipes as a ″closed system.″ It is the function of these one-way check valves to prevent water from flowing backward out of the house through the supply pipes, which helps to prevent potentially contaminated water from entering the public water supply system.Water pressure builds up in a closed system until the check valve is opened, which is an inherent issue with check valves installed in the system.
Because of the high pressure in your water heater, an expansion tank will help to prevent an explosion.If your water heater tank is equipped with a check valve or a pressure-regulating valve, we recommend that you purchase an expansion tank to supplement it.
ServiceMark Can Install Your Expansion Tank!
To improve the efficiency and comfort of your hot water heater, it is integrated with a check valve, which is inserted in the cold-water feed pipe.Licensing technicians in the plumbing business refer to the check valve and associated pipes as a ″closed system.″ It is the aim of these one-way check valves to prevent water from flowing backward out of the house through the supply pipes, which helps to prevent potentially contaminated water from entering into the public water supply system.Water pressure builds up in a closed system until the check valve is opened, which is an inherent problem with check valves that are installed in systems.
Due to the high pressure in your water heater, an expansion tank will help to prevent an explosion.It is recommended that you purchase an expansion tank if your water heater tank contains a check valve or pressure-regulating valve.
Does My Water Heater Need an Expansion Tank?
- What’s the short answer? If your home is equipped with a ″closed″ plumbing system, then an expansion tank will be required. As you may be aware, homes are either equipped with an open or a closed plumbing system. It is impossible for water to flow in the other way via a closed plumbing system (i.e., water cannot flow back into city lines after it enters your home’s plumbing system.) Because most new houses are constructed with a closed plumbing system, it is likely that you will require an expansion tank. We’ll explain why in more detail below. The following are the subjects that will be covered in this article: When using a closed loop plumbing system, why do you need an expansion tank? How do you know whether you have a closed loop plumbing system?
Is it necessary for a plumber to build an extension tank for your hot water tank?
Why you need an expansion tank with a closed loop system
What is the succinct response?An expansion tank will help to keep your water heater and plumbing system in good working order.Here’s a more in-depth explanation of the question.
Similarly to what we discussed at the outset, a closed system establishes a single conduit for water to flow into (but not back out of) your home.When water is heated, on the other hand, its volume increases (this is called thermal expansion).When the volume of water in the tank increases, it places more pressure on the tank.
Over time, after repeated expansion and contraction, the tank will become weak (like twisting a paper clip back and forth for a long period of time—it will finally shatter).And it is at this point that an expansion tank is required.Once an expansion tank has been installed, the additional water volume generated by thermal expansion is automatically sucked into the expansion tank, lowering the pressure inside your water heater.An expansion tank helps to extend the life of your water heater by reducing the amount of pressure that is applied to it.In fact, some manufacturers may invalidate your water heater warranty if your piping system is closed and does not include an expansion tank or a pressure relief valve.
Now that you understand why you require an expansion tank, let’s take a look at how to determine whether or not you have a sealed plumbing system.
How to tell if you have a closed plumbing system
- Backflow prevention devices (such as check valves or pressure-reducing valves) that are linked to your main water shutoff valve indicate that your plumbing system is closed. Note: Although backflow prevention devices can be designed in a variety of ways, the most of them will look somewhat like this. Your water shutoff valve is often positioned on one of the following surfaces: an exterior wall
- a basement
- a utility room or closet
If you are having difficulty locating your main water shutoff valve or if you are unable to locate a backflow prevention device, call a plumber for assistance. They’ll be able to tell you if you have an open or closed system, and they can make recommendations for expansion tanks.
A Water Heater Expansion Tank on Top of your Tank Water Heater is Crucial
A water heater expansion tank is a small metal tank that should be installed above your tank-style water heater to provide additional capacity. It has a similar appearance to a tiny propane tank.
What’s the Purpose of A Thermal Expansion Tank?
In a nutshell, it’s there to safeguard your property from excessive pressure that might build up in the tank water heater’s reservoir.As the water in the water heater heats up, it swells in volume.As an example, when a 50-gallon tank water heater is filled with cold water, it expands to 52 gallons when it is heated.
Heat-generated surplus water need a place to be disposed of.As a result, the purpose of this little thermal expansion tank is to collect any extra water.A 50-gallon tank water heater requires at least a 2-gallon thermal expansion tank, which is the minimum size required.
This little tank is also capable of absorbing any excess pressure generated by the incoming water supply.Dale Anderson, the owner of Anderson Plumbing in Fallbrook and a second-generation plumber, installs a thermal expansion tank to a water heater before installing it in a customer’s house.We are frequently asked what the purpose of the little tank that sits on top of the water heater is.It’s a very significant issue, to say the least.And we always put these on every tank water heater that we sell.
What if You Have More than One Water Heater in Your Home?
It is recommended that each water heater be equipped with a thermal expansion tank.
What Could Happen if You Didn’t Have an Expansion Tank … or it was Faulty?
Water pressure that is too high from the water heater might cause harm to your house.Water might overflow, causing damage to anything in its path as well as to the water heater and its fittings itself.Potentially in the worst-case situation, if the water heater’s pressure release valve is also destroyed, the water heater may even explode.
Thus, an expansion tank is not a substitute for the temperature release (TPR) valve on a water heater, as previously stated.A failure of the TPR valve, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNATCHI), results in excessive heat buildup in the water.As soon as the superheated water comes into contact with air, it turns into explosive steam.
Depending on the circumstances, the water heater might be propelled into space like a rocket or detonate explosively, inflicting substantial property damage, bodily injury, or death.Assuming you do not have a water heater expansion tank installed on top of your tank water heater, the additional pressure may drive the excess water back into the municipal water supply.However, this is only true if you do not have a pressure regulator placed on the water supply system in your home.A pressure regulator valve, on the other hand, is very necessary!By preventing excessive pressure from rupturing your water pipes and harming your water fixtures, pressure regulators help to keep your home’s plumbing and appliances in good working order.
Before beginning any plumbing installation, we always make sure that the pressure regulator valve is working properly.More about that may be found here.
Mineral Deposits in our “Hard” Water area Also Causes Water Heater Problems
We reside in a region that includes the cities of Fallbrook, Bonsall, Vista, Oceanside, and Temecula, which contains some of the highest mineral reserves in the western United States.(You may learn more about our mineral composition by visiting this page.) It is possible for these minerals to accumulate within the water heater’s pipes leading to and from it, as well as within the water heater itself.Hard buildup reduces the life of the water heater as well as the life of all other water-using equipment.
As a result, we provide water treatment solutions such as water softener systems and water filtration systems to our customers.You may find out more about them here.Alternatively, you may call us!
We’d be delighted to talk with you about your unique requirements and potential solutions.
Inspecting it is part of Our Routine Water Heater Maintenance Program
It is possible for the expansion tank, like all other components of a water heater to get worn, corroded, or leak.In addition, water heaters are equipped with a number of critical valves and indicators.It’s critical that they’re all in proper operational condition.
Because they are all broken or rusted in some way, it will be difficult to manage the amount of water that flows between the water heater and the little expansion tank.That is one of the reasons why it is necessary to get your water heater inspected on a regular basis.We know all there is to know about water heaters.
To be honest, we’ve installed and serviced more water heaters than any other plumber in the region.We recommend that you get your water heater inspected and maintained at least once every two years.Knowing that everything is in proper functioning condition will provide you with piece of mind.
Do You Need an Expansion Tank on a Tankless Water Heater?
No. This is due to the fact that a tankless water heater only warms water when it is needed. It does not have a hot water storage tank. There are two types of water heaters we offer: tank-style and tankless (also known as on-demand). Learn more about the advantages of each one by visiting this page.
Is An Expansion Tank Really Necessary For A Hot Water Heater
So many of our clients have asked us this question over and over again. ″Does my hot water heater really need an expansion tank?″ you might wonder. Thermal expansion protection is required on all new water heater tanks, regardless of their age. It is possible to guard against thermal expansion in three distinct ways:
- Incorporating a thermal expansion tank that is appropriately sized for the tank
- Thermal expansion relief valves are used in this situation.
- Using a governor 80 ballcock, for example
Increased thermal expansion is induced by a change in the temperature of the liquid.Water expands when heated to a certain temperature.As a result, 40 gallons of water at 50 degrees entering into the home becomes roughly 40.5 gallons of water when heated to 120 degrees, representing an increase of around 0.5 gallons in volume.
As a result, the excess water must find a way out, which means it either causes leaks in the house or stretches the water pipes in supply lines.It may also leak out of the relief valve or push backwards through the meter (if there is no dual check valve or backflow preventer), but when the water has nowhere to go, the pressure in the system rises as a result.The strain of increasing pressure shortens the life of the water heater and commonly results in pipes bursting, leaking fixtures, and running toilets as a result of this increased pressure.
Using a thermal expansion tank to alleviate this problem on most smaller water heater systems is a straightforward solution.There is plenty of air in the tank.When the heater goes through a heat cycle, the extra volume of water pushes into the tank and compresses the air, but the water pressure remains constant throughout the cycle.The compressibility of air is greater than the compressibility of water.When it comes to thermal expansion protection, the two additional options (the thermal expansion valve and the governor 80 ballcock) are both designed to pour the excess water down the drain at the end of each heating cycle.
These two alternative options are legal and provide protection against thermal expansion.They are typically used in situations where there is insufficient space for a thermal expansion tank or if the size of the water storage tank is greater than the size of a standard thermal expansion tank (for example, in an apartment complex there may be 10 water heaters protected by one thermal expansion valve, this situation is only by an engineered design, and is only in a situation where the is no check valves on the individual units).
Why Do We Recommend An Expansion Tank?
First and foremost, our objective is to assist you in ensuring that your hot water heater continues to operate efficiently and securely for the longest period of time feasible.That is something that an expansion tank will assist you in doing.While you can see, the natural thermal expansion that happens as the hot water heater heats your water may put a significant amount of strain on your plumbing pipes and other fixtures.
It is possible that this tension can develop cracks, which will subsequently result in leaks, and we don’t need to tell you what occurs when your pipes begin to leak.A significant amount of money can be spent on detecting and repairing leaks in water pipes.It is natural for water in your hot water heater to expand as it becomes hotter and hotter.
Consider the following scenario: a 40-gallon tank with water temperature now at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.It will expand by about one-half gallon when the water is heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.Installing an extension tank can assist to reduce the likelihood of incurring this additional price.
What Is An Expansion Tank?
Heat exchangers and expansion tanks (sometimes referred to as Thermal Expansion Tanks) are essentially safety equipment that assist you reduce the likelihood of damage to your hot water tank.They are considered a ″add-on″ to your current hot water heater and are often put on the water supply pipe that leads to the water heater.Typically, this is located on the wall adjacent to or very close to your hot water heater.
They take up very little room, but they may save you a significant amount of money in the long run, particularly as your tank matures.Expansion tanks are available in two different sizes: 2 gallon and 4.5 gallon.We can assist you in selecting the most appropriate one for your residence.
To learn more about the benefits of installing an expansion tank to your hot water heater, contact us at 770-505-8570 now.All of your inquiries concerning the project and its pricing will be answered promptly by our team of experts!We are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your questions.
We Offer Water Heater Services in Metro Atlanta and Surrounding Areas
Fulton County, Bartow County, Cobb County, Paulding County, Cherokee County, Gwinnett County, and Douglas County are among the counties that make up the metro area.Acworth GA, Atlanta GA, Austell GA, Cartersville GA, Doraville GA, Douglasville GA, Hiram GA, Kennesaw GA, Lawrenceville GA, Lithia Springs GA, Loganville GA, Mableton GA, Powder Springs GA, Rockmart GA, Smyrna GA, Tucker GA, Villa Rica GA, Vinings GA, Woodstock GA, and Surrounding Communities
Water Heater Expansion Tank
Water expands when it is heated and, if it doesn’t have any place to go, this can create a dangerous situation.
Consider the interior of your home’s water heater with an excessive amount of pressure in it.Previously, any pressured water that accumulated would just drain back into the city’s water distribution system.However, this is not always feasible.
It’s likely that something is in place to prevent this discharge, but you’ll still need additional protection, which gets us to the water heater expansion tank.It is an additional tiny thank you that is added to your water heater unit and serves the purpose of storing water.It is intended to deal with the extra water that accumulates over time.
If your home’s water pressure becomes excessive, the water will flow into your expansion tank rather than harming your home’s plumbing valves, fixtures, and joints or triggering a burst line that would cause irreparable damage and cost.When your water expands due to thermal expansion, a water heater expansion tank minimizes unwelcome increases in pressure.When water is heated from 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, it expands by approximately 2 percent.Install the expansion tank further down the line from the intake valve that supplies hot water to the rest of your house.The tank is divided into two portions by a rubber valve.
The tank is made of two sections.Water runs through the top section, and pressured air is contained inside the bottom portion.Due to the presence of this air pressure, the tank is able to absorb the excess pressure generated by your water heater, keeping it away from the rest of your home’s systems.
Share & Save this graphic to refer back to!
Common questions about water heater expansion tanks include:
What is a check valve?
An example of a check valve is a device that prevents the backflow of thermally expanded water in the incorrect direction. If you don’t have an expansion tank, the extra pressure might put undue strain on your plumbing fixtures, including your water heater, shortening their lifespan.
Does the expansion tank have to be installed on the cold side?
We highly urge that expansion tanks be put on the cold line, downstream of the shutdown valve, even if they can be installed on the hot side.
Where should an expansion tank be installed in relation to the hot water heater?
The location of your expansion tank on your plumbing system is entirely up to you; it is not required to be built in close proximity to your water heater. The most frequent method of installation is to use a ″T″ at the cold water heater’s intake valve. However, it may be put anywhere along the cold inlet line in terms of functionality.
Can the expansion tank be installed at any angle? Pt. 1
It is possible to place the expansion tank at any angle.This will be in contradiction with the information provided with any expansion tank purchased from a retail retailer.According to the installation instructions that come with retail expansion tanks, the tank must be put in a hanging vertical position to function properly.
″Saddle Fitting″ is included with your retail expansion tank purchase when you purchase it from a retailer.This eliminates the need for soldering and makes the process of installing an expansion tank simpler for the general public.The saddle fitting is a basic clamp that attaches to the pipe.
It also has threading that allows you to attach the tank to the saddle fitting.
Can the expansion tank be installed at any angle? Pt. 2
To begin, you must first create a tiny hole in the current pipe.As a last step, the clamp should be tightened so that the hole lines up perfectly with the outlet for the expansion tank.Despite the fact that this is a possibility, we do not advocate these fits for a variety of reasons.
Their reliability is questionable since they only allow the tank to be positioned in one position (vertical).As an alternative, we propose that you solder the appropriate fittings into the system or that you use galvanized fittings.
How to know if you need a water heater expansion tank replacement
The lifespan of a typical water heater is estimated to be 10-15 years; however, your expansion tank may fail before this time.First and foremost, effective installation of your expansion tank will guarantee that the air pressure in the tank is equal to the water pressure in your house, hence extending the life of the tank.By examining your expansion tank on a regular basis, you may avoid a potentially costly mishap.
If you notice dripping water under the tank or near the fittings, it is possible that the valve has become clogged.This can occur as a result of foreign matter, such as mineral deposits.A pressure gauge, for example, should be installed to monitor the pressure in the tank.
This will tell you if the tank is operating well or whether the diaphragm has been broken, which is important information.It is possible to replace a water heater expansion tank without having to replace the complete system in most cases.
Who needs a water heater expansion tank?
It is possible that thermal expansion will cause considerable pressure rises in your household plumbing system if you have a ″closed system,″ which means that your home is protected by a backflow preventer or other device that prevents your water from flowing back into the main water supply.In these conditions, not only should you have a thermal expansion tank, but some towns may also compel you to have one.Furthermore, if you have a closed system and do not install this protection, your water heater’s manufacturer may invalidate your guarantee.
If you have a tankless water heater, you won’t require an expansion tank because there is no tank and hence no buildup of pressure.Similarly, if your property is served by an open water supply system, where excess water is recycled back into the municipal water supply, your home’s plumbing system will not be subjected to any additional pressure.
What Is the Purpose of a Water Heater Expansion Tank?
Because water expands when heated, it is necessary to discharge the extra pressure that has built up inside the water heater tank.For a long time, the growing water in the tank just drained back into the municipal water system, where it had originally come from.Today, a check valve is installed in the water main to avoid the release of pressure in the opposite direction of the flow, which is known as backflow.
When the check valve is closed, waste water from within the home is prevented from returning to the water supply, where it might pollute the supply of fresh water in the house.Water heater expansion tanks are tiny tanks that are linked to the water heater’s water supply line in order to provide additional capacity.This tank is intended to accommodate the thermal expansion of water that occurs when it heats up in the water heater, so avoiding overly high water pressure from forming.
Increasing the water pressure in a water heater can harm the valves in plumbing fixtures, the joints in supply pipes, and even the heater itself.Water from the water heater expands as it goes into the expansion tank, reducing the amount of water pressure in the system.What should I do if my water heater does not have an expansion tank built into it?The majority of residences with a check valve on the water main do not have an expansion tank, since they were not compelled to do so until relatively recently.The design of the plumbing in a house will determine whether or not this will result in an excessive buildup of pressure in the system.
The installation of an expansion tank may be recommended if you see that washers in plumbing fixtures are failing at an alarming rate, or if you notice water leaking from the relief valve on your water heater.It can be a low-cost kind of insurance against more expensive damage to your home’s plumbing system in the event of an emergency.
What Does an Expansion Tank Do?
When water is heated, it expands. Thermal expansion is the term used to describe this phenomenon. Because your water heater has a maximum capacity of just a certain number of gallons, all of the surplus water must be disposed of somewhere. An expansion tank absorbs surplus pressure, allowing your water heater and piping system to function more efficiently.
How Does an Expansion Tank Work?
An expansion tank is a tank that connects to the cold water line that feeds into the tank of the water heater.A rubber baffle separates the two halves of the cylinder.Heat from the bladder causes it to expand, pushing the baffle downward into a chamber filled with compressed air, which absorbs the pressure.
The tension on the tank is relieved, and your plumbing joints, toilet valves, and solenoid valves on your washing machine and dishwasher are protected from harm as a result of this.
How Do I Know If I Need an Expansion Tank on My Water Heater?
It is possible that your residence is on a closed-loop system: In an open-loop system, any extra water produced by thermal expansion would be sent back to the main water supply.All of the additional pressure in your home’s closed-loop system will force the tank to expand and contract, resulting in the unit failing prematurely as a result of the expansion and contraction.Unless your main water shutoff valve is equipped with a pressure regulator, a backflow prevention device, or some other bell-shaped mechanism, you have a closed-loop system in your house.
The TPR valve is leaking as follows: When the temperature or pressure of your water heater surpasses harmful levels, the temperature/pressure relief valve (TPR) in your water heater will operate as a safety device.Pressure regulation will be accomplished by the use of a hot water jet discharged.Despite the mess, it’s preferable than the alternative, which is an exploding water heater.
If the TPR valve trips on a regular basis, you may require an expansion tank.
Water Heater Tank Maintenance
The compressed air is pumped into the bottom half of the expansion tank, which is typically between 50 and 60 pounds per square inch in compression (PSI).It is possible that the tank will lose some pressure over time.The tank is equipped with a Schrader valve, which is the same sort of valve used on a bicycle tire.
Check it with a pressure gauge once a year to ensure that it is adequately charged.Using a bicycle pump, you can pressurize it if the pressure is less than 50psi.Conclusion: The water heater installation professionals in Gilbert and Chandler are delighted to check the condition of your water heater to decide whether it will benefit from the addition of a water heater expansion tank.
If you want to schedule an appointment with Plumbing & A/C Medic, you may do so by contacting (602) 975-2306.
Are Water Heater Expansion Tanks Required?
- This safety device, also known as a thermal expansion tank, can assist to limit the danger of damage to your water heater and plumbing system as a result of pressure buildup in the plumbing system.
- You may be asking yourself right now, ‘does it really make a difference if I have one?’ Let’s find out for ourselves, shall we?
- So, do water heater expansion tanks become necessary?
- The majority of municipalities require that home plumbing systems have closed water heaters.
- It is required by building rules that an expansion tank be provided when a new water heater is placed on a closed system.
When using an open plumbing system, expansion tanks are not necessary.Do you require the services of a Licensed Plumber?We can assist you!In your location, you may get a free estimate from plumbers that are top-rated, vetted, and licensed.It’s possible that you’re asking if a water heater expansion tank is necessary if you have a private well water supply.Between the pressure tank and the home, the majority of well water systems have a check valve installed.
In this instance, your well water system is shut off, and an expansion tank for your water heater will be necessary.In an open water heater system, hot water from the water heater is allowed to freely flow from the water heater tank into the cold water supply line and, if the pressure is very strong, eventually back into the municipal water system, allowing the water heater to save energy.This occurs when there are no valves (such as a shut-off valve, check valve, or other similar device) on the cold water supply that prohibit water flow.It is understood that a closed water heater system means that hot water cannot be allowed to flow into the cold water supply past the shut-off or check valve.
The difficulty with a closed system is that hot water becomes trapped since there is nowhere for it to escape.This results in a rise in pressure in the plumbing supply piping, which might cause damage to the system as a result.The presence of a water heater expansion tank is typically mandated by local construction rules.When a water heater explodes, expansion tanks are utilized to assist prevent the explosion.Let’s take a closer look at this concept.In addition, we will discuss what a water expansion tank is and why it is vital to have one installed.
In that case, please continue reading if you’re interested in learning everything there is to know about water heater expansion tanks…
What is a Water Expansion Tank?
- According to the information provided above, a water heater expansion tank serves as a safety measure to prevent any pressure damage to your plumbing system.
- It is referred to as a thermal expansion tank in certain circles, and it is frequently needed by law in most large North American cities.
- Because water expands naturally when heated (a process known as thermal expansion), an additional volume of water is generated every time the tank is turned on.
- When heated to a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, it is estimated that a normal 50-gallon water heater tank expands to around 52 gallons.
- Increased pressure is caused by the increased amount of water flowing through the system.
If the increase in pressure is substantial enough, it can cause damage to your water heater, plumbing fixtures, and water pipes over time.
What is the Purpose of an Expansion Tank?
- In the case of a water heater, the expansion tank serves as an overflow device.
- It absorbs the extra water volume formed when the volume of water swells as a result of the application of heat.
- It also takes into account any variations in supply pressure induced by the addition of additional water to the tank.
- A two-way valve allows expanding water to flow back into the city water supply in an open plumbing system, removing the requirement for a water expansion tank in the system.
- Although it is becoming more rare, many residences still have closed water supply systems, which are essentially systems that have one-way (backflow, check, or pressure-reducing) valves.
There is nowhere for the excess volume to go, resulting in thermal expansion and the possibility of high-pressure damage to your water heating device.
Do Water Expansion Tanks Hold Water?
- The air in a water expansion tank is extremely compactible by nature, which makes it ideal for use as a water storage tank.
- During the expansion process of water after it has been heated, any extra liquid flows from the heating unit and into the expansion tank, where it compresses the air.
- As a result, more space is available for the increased water volume.
- Consequently, water pressure does not rise to a large level, reducing the likelihood of pressure damage to the tank, fixtures and/or pipelines.
What Size Water Expansion Tank Do I Need?
- It is critical to carefully size and pick your water expansion tank in order for it to work properly with your heating unit.
- The size of the water heater (its capacity in gallons) and the water pressure in the piping system are the two most important considerations when selecting a water heater.
- This information may be found on the manufacturing label of the heating unit and/or by calling the water supply company in your area to inquire.
- In this post, we will explore water expansion tanks that are designed primarily for household use.
- An ST-5 expansion tank is required for a 40- or 50-gallon heating unit, whereas an ST-8 tank is required for a 60- or 80-gallon heating unit.
What is the Best Water Expansion Tank?
- A best seller on Amazon, the AMTROL ST-5 Thermal Expansion Tank is the top choice when it comes to a regular 50-gallon storage tank.
- Try the Watts DET-5 5 Gallon Potable Expansion Tank if you’re looking for a more portable solution.
- Let’s take a closer look at each of the points.
- The best part is that any one you choose may be delivered to your front door in as little as two days!
- Check out each model by going online right now!
AMTROL ST-5 Thermal Expansion Tank
- This expansion unit is reasonably priced and will aid in the protection of your heating unit against water pressure-related damage.
- A total of 4.7/5 stars have been awarded to it, with 4.9/5 stars being awarded for simplicity of installation and 4.7/5 stars being awarded for value.
- It ensures a safe connection to water heaters while also preventing dangerously high amounts of water pressure from building up.
- It is delivered pre-charged at 40 psi and conforms with the Lead-Free Law in the United States.
- A 2-gallon or 4.5-gallon variant is available, both constructed of high-quality butyl rubber and 304-grade stainless steel fittings for long-lasting durability.
Watts DET-5 5 Gallon Potable Expansion Tank
- This expansion tank is both reasonably priced and easily transportable.
- It has an overall rating of 4.3/5 and is an excellent choice for any home that is plagued by prematurely broken fixtures (such as a water heater) or appliances (such as an air conditioner) (including washing machines and dishwashers).
- As a bonus, it can assist with those pesky (and often expensive) plumbing concerns like leaking faucets, running toilets, and banging pipes.
- It is delivered pre-pressurized at 20 psi and is simple to assemble.
- At just under $70, it represents excellent value (excluding shipping costs).
How to Install a Water Expansion Tank
- Installing a water expansion tank is most effective when it is completed immediately after the installation of a new water heater. However, in the event that your tank does not come with an instruction booklet, I have provided a simple and straightforward method to follow in the following section. The following materials will be needed for this DIY project: 34 by 4″ galvanized nipple
- 34 galvanized tee
- 34 galvanized elbow
- 2″ galvanized nipple
- pipe joint compound
- plumber’s tape
- and a drill bit.
The following are the four procedures that must be completed in order to properly install a water heater expansion tank:
Use plumber’s tape and pipe joint compound to seal the nipple that is attached to the water heater after it has been installed on top of the unit. Make sure the tee is facing the direction in which you want the tank to travel, and then tighten it down firmly.
Install plumber’s tape on both sides of the nipple, and then apply pipe joint compound over the top of the plumber’s tape to seal the nipple together. Attach the elbow to the nipple with a screw on one side and the tee on the other. Before tightening it, check to see that it is facing straight up.
Prepare the threads on the water expansion tank with plumber’s tape as well as pipe joint compound before installing the tank. Secure the tank to the elbow with a strong strap.
Prepare the end of the nipple that will be on top of the tee with plumber’s tape and pipe compound before attaching it to the pipe. Attach the nipple to the tee that connects it to the water heater flex line by tightening it down.
Plumbing Issues Caused by High Water Pressure
- High water pressure in your home might result in a range of plumbing problems in your house. The water pressure should not be more than 80 psi. If this occurs, fixtures (including water heaters), faucets, shut-off valves, and toilet pieces will fail far sooner than they would otherwise. Because of this, it is necessary to build a water expansion tank on site. Over time, it will save money by avoiding both costly plumbing repairs and premature appliance replacement. The following is a list of difficulties that might arise in the home as a result of thermal expansion: A leaking faucet, spitting from a faucet aerator, a running toilet, and other issues are all common.
- Finally, a water expansion tank is sometimes referred to as a thermal expansion tank in some circles.
- It is, in essence, a safety device that can assist in reducing the likelihood of pressure damage to your plumbing system occurring.
- Pumping systems must be closed and supplied with expansion tanks in most cities, according to local ordinance.
- The expansion of water might cause it to flow back into the city water supply when the plumbing system is not properly closed off.
- However, in a closed system, such as the one found in the majority of North American houses, the excess water volume has nowhere to go, necessitating the installation of a water expansion tank in order to decrease the danger of high-pressure damage to your water heater unit.
By lowering the number of costly plumbing and appliance repairs that are frequently linked with thermal expansion, a water expansion tank might help you save money in the long term.Most likely, your home is suffering from the consequences of thermal expansion if you have banging pipes, dripping faucets and running toilets, as well as a broken water heater, washing machine, or dishwasher.You may complete installation safely and easily if you adhere to the procedures mentioned above or in the unit’s accompanying instruction manual.Units such as the AMTROL ST-5 Thermal Expansion Tank and the Watts DET-5 5 Gallon Potable Expansion Tank are both long-lasting and reasonably priced, and both are available on Amazon.com.com.Take a look at them right now!Wishing you the best of success with your future home improvement efforts.
Please let me know if you have DISCLAIMER: The information provided on HomeInspectionInsider.com is not intended to be professional guidance.Before beginning any job, you should contact with a competent expert and verify that all necessary permits have been obtained.It is owned and operated by Hubert Miles who is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by placing advertisements and links on their websites that direct traffic to Amazon.com (hereinafter referred to as ″Amazon.com″ or ″Amazon.com Associates Program″).As an affiliate, HomeInspectionInsider.com participates in a variety of affiliate programs with other websites.
Hubert Miles receives a commission for recommending visitors and commerce to these businesses.
What Is The Purpose Of An Expansion Tank?
- We are all familiar with water heaters and understand how important they are to our morning routines.
- These devices provide us with warm water for bathing and washing our clothes, as well as hot water for washing our dishes and even speed up the boiling process for preparing spaghetti.
- However, upon closer study of the tank, you see another, much smaller tank connected to the cold water supply line and wonder why it is there at all.
- Was it included as a type of add-on, similar to having more gigabytes of storage space on your computer?
- Is it capable of dispenseing some form of liquid?
What might potentially be the cause of this situation?As a result, what is the function of an expansion tank?An expansion tank, in its most basic form, allows for the natural expansion of water as it heats up in your tank, which is known as thermal expansion.Due to the increased storage, pipes, fittings, and fixtures are not subjected to any strain when the water temperature rises and the pressure increases.This will prevent breakdowns in your plumbing from developing as a result of temperature changes.
Why The Tank Was Created
- Water heaters have been around for a long time, but there was a period when expansion tanks were not even thought of.
- What gives?
- Previously, when water heated up, the pressure would be alleviated merely by the water being pushed outside of the residence and into the city’s water line, which would disperse the pressure as it cooled.
- This type of system is referred to as an open system.
- Check valves are becoming increasingly common in residential buildings owing to health and safety concerns.
A check valve is comprised of a spring that is followed by a rubber gasket on the inside.The spring is installed on the side of the building where water pressure is entering, and the gasket is installed on the other side.A gap between the gasket and the inner walls will be created by the spring when water pushes on it, allowing for water to pass through it.Due to the fact that this is a one-way procedure, the gasket side will function as a seal when water is trying to move in the other direction or depart the structure.This will cause the pressure to push against the gasket, resulting in a water-tight seal being formed.The reason it prevents this reverse flow is due to the presence of potentially hazardous chemicals or substances that may come into touch with a fixture in your home, and this contact might be made through a hose that is laying on the floor.
If a hole were to occur in the city’s water line, it would create a vacuum, which would draw water from all of the water supplies in the surrounding region.The stream would be sucked up and contaminated if any chemical or material was present, contaminating the entire water supply.There is a huge problem, and no one wants to deal with it, which is why the check valve was invented.One more reason why a check valve might be installed in your plumbing system is if you have a hot water recirculation system.
This system, which is powered by a pump, will push hot water back into the tank, allowing it to recirculate and make hot water available to even the most remote parts of a house or building.The pump will force hot water into the cold water supply line, necessitating the installation of a check valve to prevent this from happening.When you install a check valve, you are establishing a closed system, and if you are preventing the flow of water that is being pumped from returning to the municipal water line, then expansion will occur inside the system, necessitating the installation of an expansion tank to absorb the pressure.When you have a check valve mechanism or anything else in your plumbing that prevents water from flowing out into the city’s main water line, this is referred to as a closed system.
How The Expansion Tank Works
- Water does not have the ability to be compressed.
- When water is heated, it is unable to compress, and as a result, it tends to build up pressure as it expands, a phenomenon known as thermal expansion occurs.
- An expansion tank’s interior has a bladder, which is a type of bladder that is used to hold liquid.
- This bladder is filled with air, and that air has the ability to compress.
- After water begins to heat up, the bladder is pulled downward, compressing the air within and allowing for the change in water temperature.
The bladder, on the other hand, returns to its original position as the water begins to cool off.Connecting your water supply lines to the expansion tank (copper, PEX, PVC, or CPVC) is accomplished by using an F.I.P (Female Iron Pipe) fitting that attaches to the expansion tank and screws into place.Add a small amount of teflon tape around the threads and you’ll have a watertight seal in no time.If you’re interested in learning more about how to manage your reverse osmosis system, I created another post that includes a step by step method for diagnosing and re-pressurizing your system’s tank if it begins to fail.You can find that article here.In terms of operation, a reverse osmosis tank storage tank is similar to an expansion tank; however, it serves a somewhat different purpose.
When Do I Need An Expansion Tank?
- On a networked system, If you look closely, you’ll discover a pipe, which is either copper or CPVC in construction, running beside your hot water tank.
- This pipe is connected to a pressure relief valve, which is a type of relief valve.
- Currently, the pressure relief valve is a mechanism that may be found on all types of containers.
- If there is any pressure buildup inside the system, this valve is designed to release that pressure by opening the valve when necessary and discharging water down a drain or, in certain situations, directly into your basement flooring.
- However, they can be somewhat higher in pressure, up to 160 psig (pounds per square inch), depending on the manufacturer’s specifications.
If you observe that this valve is constantly opening and letting water out, it is likely that the city water pressure is too high in conjunction with the thermal expansion of your water tank, causing it to malfunction.If you find water flowing out of your tank or if you discover odd damp spots under your tank, it is possible that you require an expansion tank to relieve the pressure that has built up.System that is closed To elaborate on what I said before, if thermal expansion occurs in a closed system, it will cause the pressure in the tank to rise, forcing the water to seek relief from the pressure in any way it can.A pressure release valve alone will not always be sufficient.There are certain things that can happen as a result of having too much pressure in your closed system.
- The water pressure will become too severe for the rubber gaskets in your fixtures, resulting in drips from your fixtures.
- It is possible for the flue of your hot water tank to break, resulting in the release of potentially hazardous poisonous gases into your home.
- The hot water tank has burst.
- After a period of time, the toilet tank ball cock starts leaking, causing the tank to fill up and eventually overflow
- As soon as the pressure relief valve opens, water begins to flow out.
- *Please keep in mind that expansion tanks should not be installed by someone who has little or no knowledge with plumbing.
- Flooding or leaks that occur as a result of improper installation can be quite expensive.
- Using a professional plumber is always the best option because they deal with this on a regular basis and have extensive expertise in checking for leaks throughout the installation process, as well as knowledge of suitable installation procedures and tools.
Is An Expansion Tank Still Necessary If I Have A Pressure Reducing Valve?
- A pressure lowering valve is a device that is meant to lower excessive pressure in a residence.
- Unless the pressure is greater than 80 psi, this is not a frequent gadget encountered in a home setting.
- The usual pressure encountered in a home is between 40 and 75 pounds per square inch.
- The majority of the time, a pressure reduction valve is not even required at all; nevertheless, if one is present, you will almost certainly still want an expansion tank to compensate.
- Returning to the original question of what an expansion tank on a water heater was for…
Thermal expansion will be accommodated by the tank, and thermal expansion can result in a discrepancy of up to 1-2 gallons in tank capacity.On a closed system, this would effectively eliminate the importance of city pressure, as the expansion would occur regardless of whether the residence had 30 psi or 100 psi of pressure.Even in an open system where the relief is dependent on water being pushed back into the main water line, it is still preferable to have an expansion tank because they will not do any damage to your system.When it comes to water pressure, it is known to change over time, so you could find yourself testing it at 70 psi one day and 85 psi the next.If you require a tank, I would recommend that you first consult with a local plumber who can assist you with any queries you may have and who can also assist you with the installation because they are specialists in the sector and deal with installations such as this on an almost daily basis.As an additional recommendation, I encourage that you get one of these (link to Amazon) because it is a reliable product manufactured by a highly trusted firm.
Do I Need a Water Heater Expansion Tank?
- It’s possible that if you’ve never heard of a water heater expansion tank before, it appears to be nothing more than a simple attachment for your water heater to you.
- Alternatively, it might be some sort of technology that increases the capacity of your water heater, allowing you to utilize more hot water at the same time.
- These are reasonable assumptions, but in reality, an expansion tank is a safety feature that keeps your water heater from being harmed by high amounts of water pressure.
- Not just anyone, on the other hand, should have one installed.
- Whether or not you require one is determined on the way your city has structured your plumbing system.
Don’t be concerned; we’ll explain what expansion tanks are and whether or not you require one.
Why Do We Need Water Heater Expansion Tanks?
- First and foremost, if you do not have a storage tank water heater, this essay will not be of any value to you at all.
- Extension tanks were developed solely to address a problem that was unique to storage tank water heaters: overheating.
- When water is heated, the water within your water heater expands, and this is a special problem to be aware of.
- Thermal expansion is the term used to describe this phenomenon.
- As an example, when heated, a tank that stores 50 gallons of cold water will expand to accommodate 52 gallons of cold water.
The fact that this type of tank is only rated to contain 50 gallons indicates that this might become an issue.It is likely that those two more gallons will put additional pressure on your plumbing system.Over time, the strain on your water heater might cause it to leak and, in the worst case scenario, burst!This pressure can be alleviated by using a water heater expansion tank, which gives just enough extra capacity.
Isn’t My Water Heater Equipped to Deal With This Already?
- What you might question is, since the phenomenon of thermal expansion is so well known, why aren’t water heaters in Glendale, AZ already constructed to deal with this problem.
- They are, in fact, correct!
- Check valves and temperature-regulator valves are commonly seen in water heaters to tackle this problem.
- The true source of the problem, on the other hand, is the way the plumbing systems are set up between the city and your property.
- These water delivery systems can be either open or closed, depending on their design.
Open water supply systems allow excess water to be sent back into the city’s water supply through a valve.This completely eliminates the problem, allowing you to utilize your water heater without the need for an expansion tank.In these systems, the check and temperature-regulator valves function as they are supposed to.The most likely case, on the other hand, is that you have a water supply system that is closed.This is a one-way valve, which means that water cannot be returned to the city through it.However, even with the valves stated above in place, the pressure caused by thermal expansion cannot be fully alleviated at this time.
Does My Water Heater Need an Expansion Tank?
- Checking to see what sort of plumbing system you have is the most straightforward solution.
- In the event that your home is connected to a closed water distribution system, we strongly advise that you install an extension tank.
- Don’t underestimate the harm that may be done if you don’t have one—in several areas throughout the country, expansion tanks are now required by law!
- We can assist you in determining whether or not your property requires a water heater expansion tank.
- To obtain an estimate, please contact The Trusted Plumber right now.
Glendale, water heater expansion tank, Water Heaters, Water Heaters Water Heaters |Posted on Monday, April 15th, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.|Category: Water Heaters
Do I Need A Water Heater Expansion Tank in Texas?
- I’m curious about the strange-looking tank above my water heater.
- ″My next-door neighbor in North Dallas informed me that I required a ‘extension tank’ for my water heater!
- Why?” If I turn on my faucet for the first time, I notice a strange variation in my water pressure.
- ″What exactly is going on?″ If any of these questions apply to you, continue reading!
- Here’s all you need to know about the expansion tank, which is often ignored.
Please keep in mind that this post is just for informative reasons.Plumbing work should only be performed by a licensed and insured expert.Legacy Plumbing is not liable for any harm or injury that may occur as a consequence of the use or misuse of the information provided.You acknowledge that you are entirely responsible for your access to, use of, and reliance on any information given on this website.
What does a thermal expansion tank look like?
- The most popular domestic expansion tank resembles a small propane tank in size and appearance.
- The most often encountered hues are off-white or blue.
- On the top, it contains a Schrader valve, which is similar to the air valve found on the majority of tires.
- A threaded pipe connector is located at the bottom of the container.
- It is common for them to be roughly the size of a basketball – or somewhat larger or smaller, depending on the size of the water heaters they service.
How does a water heater expansion tank work?
- While heating a kettle of water on the stove, the kettle will ultimately begin to whistle as the pressure that is building inside it causes steam to be released into the air.
- Regardless of whether or not the water in your water heater reaches the boiling point and condenses to form steam, it does expand when heated.
- Thermal expansion is the term used to describe this phenomenon.
- This additional pressure will simply be absorbed by the municipality’s water distribution system and will eventually become insignificant.
- It’s not an issue.
If, on the other hand, a check valve or a pressure regulating valve (PRV) is installed on the water supply line entering your home, it prevents all of that extra pressure from being retained in your home’s plumbing system, putting unnecessary strain on your supply lines, fixtures, and appliances.In this case, a large expansion tank is required.It absorbs the extra pressure if it is put correctly.One-half of the tank is filled with water drawn from your home’s main water supply system.The remaining half of the container is filled with compressed air.In the centre of the bladder is a butyl rubber bladder.
With increasing heat and expansion of the water in your water heater, it presses on the bladder, further compressing the air on the opposite side.
When is it required in Texas?
- Having an expansion tank built on your home’s water supply line is usually suggested if you have a ‘closed-loop system,’ which can be created by any type of check valve or pressure regulating valve that has been installed on your water supply line.
- High water pressure in your house is sometimes compared to having high blood pressure, as seen in the following graphic.
- In most cases, it has no immediate detrimental implications on the person’s life.
- The long-term wear and tear caused by this excessive pressure, on the other hand, might shorten the life expectancy of everything in your plumbing system.
- The toilet fill valves, the supply lines, and the solenoid valves found in washing machines, dishwashers, and ice makers are often the weakest sections of the system, according to the manufacturer.
When subjected to high water pressure, these components are significantly more prone to break prematurely.The installation of an expansion tank alone will not correct excessive pressure over 80 PSI delivered to your property by the city water supply.The pressure lowering valve is responsible for this (PRV).When the pressure in your house is between 40 and 80 pounds per square inch (psi) and you have a pressure relief valve (PRV) or a check valve, the thermal expansion tank comes into play.The persistent fluctuation of high pressure generated by thermal expansion in a closed-loop system is protected against by this device.The installation of an expansion tank may be necessary by the city, depending on where you reside in North Dallas, regardless of whether or not you have good water pressure, in order to pass plumbing inspections, such as those required when installing a new water heater.
For example, in the city of Frisco, Texas, a PRV and expansion tank are presently required on all new construction residences.Additionally, as of the time of this writing, an expansion tank is needed on all new and replacement water heaters in Little Elm, TX, regardless of size.This is due to the fact that the water meters are equipped with check valves, which allow for the creation of a closed-loop system.Consult with your city’s plumbing inspector to ensure that you are following all of the necessary plumbing codes in your community.
Do I need more than one if I have multiple water heaters?
- You need a thermal expansion solution that is adequately sized for your plumbing system.
- One 50-gallon water heater, for instance, can be served by a 2-gallon expansion tank.
- If you have more than one heater on the same or connected system you can either have an expansion tank for each heater or a single, larger expansion tank.
- Again, check with local plumbing code amendments and with the expansion tank manufacturer’s specifications to make sure you have accurate information for your situation.
What is the life expectancy of an expansion tank?
- When it comes to the lifespan of an expansion tank, the results are highly unexpected.
- There are several elements that might influence how long a tank will endure, including the quality of the tank placed, the quality of the water, and the correct inflation of the tank, to mention a few.
- We have seen some tanks fail in as short as two years, causing significant water damage, while others have survived for eight years or longer without a problem.
- If you want to be extra cautious, we recommend that you replace them no more than a year after the manufacturer’s guarantee has expired.
- Tanks erected in this region are often covered by a one- or five-year guarantee, which means that they should be replaced every two to six years.
Can my expansion tank leak?
- Yes, the expansion tank, like every other component of your home’s plumbing system, is susceptible to breakdown over time.
- The majority of the time, they fail in two ways.
- After a period of time, the rubber bladder within them wears out, and the tank ceases to operate as a means of reducing thermal expansion as a result.
- Secondly, corrosion and leakage might occur at the point of connection between the water pipe and the tank’s pressure relief valve.
- If you want to be sure that the expansion tank does not cause harm, one thing you can do is have it professionally installed by a competent and certified plumber.
When the tank is installed, a qualified plumber will ensure that it is adequately supported and that the connection is secure.He will also position it (wh